I cut this recipe out of some magazine many, many years ago. I cannot, for the life of me, remember what magazine it was, but I think it was Bette Midler’s carrot cake recipe. I have no evidence whatsoever to substantiate that, just my bad memory. I’ve Googled “Bette Midler’s Carrot Cake” and found nothing. There was recipe for Katie Couric’s Lemon Loves (lemon bars) in the same magazine. And there were cute cartoon illustrations of both Katie and Bette.
At any rate, this is an amazing carrot cake. So amazing, in fact, I’ve even renamed it “The Best Freakin’ Carrot Cake”.
My sister-in-law Kelly requests it for her birthday. (Oh, and btw, this would be Kelly the self-proclaimed non dessert lover, as in “I prefer fruit over dessert”…who, I am proud to say that I am slowly but surely reforming. In addition to said carrot cake, she’s now a fan of my Double Chocolate Brownies and Salted Brown Butter Rice Krispie Treats!) Okay, so one year, a girlfriend of one of my nephews joined us at for Kel’s birthday celebration. She was in the process of starting her own food blog (CookingCuisine101). We talked a lot about food and cooking and blogging and she encouraged me to start my own. (I did. Thanks Breeana!) She’s a doll and she liked the carrot cake so much, she used the recipe as one of her very first posts.
I’ve actually adapted it a bit over the years (sorry, Bette) by reducing the amount of vegetable oil and increasing the amount frosting. If you’re really trying to impress someone, decorate it with Candied Carrot Shreds.
And if you have any idea what magazine that was, please let me know.
The Best Freakin’ Carrot Cake
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup vegetable oil
3 cup grated peeled carrots (appx 5-6)
1 8-ounce can crushed pineapple, drained
1/2 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped (optional)
3/4 c. (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temp
12 oz. cream cheese, at room temp
1 Tbsp. vanilla
6 cups powdered sugar
To make the cake: Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour three 8-in. round cake pans. Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl. Add the eggs and oil, and stir until well blended. Fold in the carrots, pineapple and pecans, stirring until thoroughly blended. Pour one-third of the batter into each pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cakes in the pans for 15 minutes, then remove from pans and let cool completely on wire racks.
To make the frosting: Place butter and cream cheese in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer set at medium speed, cream the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla. Reduce the speed to low and then gradually beat in the powdered sugar until the mixture is smooth. Frost the cake.
Decorate with chopped nuts and/or Candied Carrot Shreds
Candied Carrot Shreds:
1/2 c. shredded carrot
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. water
1 T. Sugar in the Raw
Cover baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, stir water and sugar together until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil. Add carrot shreds. Simmer for appx 15 minutes. Strain. Spread carrot shreds onto baking sheet. Sprinkle with Sugar in the Raw.
Air dry for appx two hours OR place in very low temp oven (heat to 200°, then reduce to “warm”) for 30-45 minutes.